LA assemblyman steps up to bat for big telecom

27 June 2016 by Steve Blum
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You’d think he’d be a Dodger fan.

Los Angeles assemblyman Mike Gatto is doubling down on his role as the California legislature’s key player on telecoms policy this season, and he appears to have decided he’s playing on the telephone and cable company team.

As chair of the assembly’s utilities and commerce committee, Gatto blocked a proposal to put more state money into broadband infrastructure – opposed by incumbents because it also empowers competitors – and greased the skids for an AT&T-written bill that would have allowed rural and inner city copper-line networks to be replaced by wireless service.… More

Bills to scrap local cell site review and California Public Utilities Commission delayed

22 June 2016 by Steve Blum
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Don’t have to look far to find a horse in Sacramento.

Afternoon update: There’s a growing consensus that AB 2788 is dead, rather than just delayed. Resurrection is always possible while the legislature is in session, though. We’ll know its status for sure, at least its current status, by Monday, if not before.

A proposal to allow mobile carriers to install cell sites pretty much anywhere they want – including on publicly owned property – without meaningful review by local government has been bumped by a week.… More

Bill forcing California cities to lease cell sites, scrap permits magically appears

20 June 2016 by Steve Blum
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Camouflaged with associated equipment. Can’t get any smaller than that.

Using a legislative maneuver delicately referred to as gut and amend, assemblyman Mike Gatto (D – Los Angeles) transmogrified a bill about natural gas storage into a free pass for mobile phone companies to 1. install cell sites pretty much anywhere they want with little or no oversight by local governments and 2. force local governments to lease publicly owned facilities for the purpose (h/t to Omary Masry at the City and County of San Francisco for the pointer).… More